An outward objective appearance of impartiality is a concept attributed increasing importance in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and national courts. It is governed both by international law and by national regulations and autonomous law. As the content of the concept itself is abstract and vague, its application in practice is difficult. To a certain extent, assessment of the appearance of impartiality is highly subjective, which opens many issues and causes much controversy. By means of autonomous law, codification of professional ethics is an attempt to create a more unified approach that would primarily offer judges’ ethical guidelines on their acts in their private and professional lives. Such acts mainly include actions in the areas where admissibility for members of the general audience is taken for granted.
Freedom of expression, the right to perform certain functions, actions allowed in the substantive conduct of proceedings and, last but not least, the extent to which ethical postulates bind judges in their private lives are all being challenged. This is a sensitive topic, as the constitutional rights innate to judges are often against ethical postulates that judges have adopted with their roles. An unambiguous solution to such a complex question is not possible, as it requires a constructive and objective estimation of all the aspects and circumstances on a case-by- case basis.. On the other hand, the codification of professional ethics enables the general public to become acquainted with judges’ ethical commitments, which contributes to an understanding of the judiciary’s role in society. The public is an inseparable part of objective impartiality, forming a complete concept with other components. Still, the general public is not a homogenous concept, as it often crumbles under the heavy weight of different opinions, views and general opinions on jurisdiction as a whole. Under the influence of sensational media coverage we are witnessing creation of a social climate, which, in the absence of any professional and objective judgment, is subjected to a negative evaluation of every step taken or decision made by judges. Members of the general public are losing interest in any critical evaluation of the information provided by the mass media. Blindly accepting information without any critical approach to its truthfulness leads to intellectual and emotional apathy.